In 1918 Kurt Schwitters (Hannover, Germany, 1887 – Ambleside, United Kingdom, 1948) exhibited Cubo-Futurist works at Der Sturm gallery in Berlin, signifying his breakthrough into the German avant-garde scene. In 1919 he created his first assemblages and collages from waste materials, which were transfigured into his works by the incorporation of color or the addition of words and phrases.
Aside from creating his own avant-garde movement, which he called Merz, Schwitters held close ties to the Dadaists in Zürich and Berlin. He was led to Constructivist approaches through the geometric art of the Dutch group De Stijl and an exhibition of contemporary Russian art he saw in Berlin. In the mid 1920s he successfully worked as an advertising consultant and designer for large industrial firms. His income as an ad designer and typographer supported the magazine Merz (1923-1932).
During the 1930s Kurt Schwitters participated in the activities of the Cercle et Carré group and in 1932 he joined Abstraction-Création. In 1937, facing increasing Nazi threats, he migrated to Norway. He made a living producing commissioned landscapes and portraits there and in England, where he moved to in 1940.